Wild Mercury Sound

The Weirdness

John Mulvey

Since I made a passing reference to the forthcoming Stooges album yesterday, it occurred to me that I should write something more about this fairly auspicious event. It is, after all, the first record Iggy and the Ashetons have made together for 34 years. And it is, also. . .

Well. . . OK. First up, as I suggested in my last post, Awesome Color's debut album does this sort of thing better. And comparing "The Weirdness" to the first three Stooges LPs is a bit of a disaster.

But let's accentuate the positive, for a paragraph at least. The first couple of songs, especially "Trolling", are great. It's a pleasure to hear Iggy fronting a band that sound like a street gang, rather than session metal musicians. Ron Asheton is in fiercely crude form. Steve Albini's production is crisp and raw. There's no doubt it all feels fresher than any number of will-this-do? Iggy solo albums.

Under the circumstances - men approaching 60 trying to sound like tremendously dumb delinquents, fixated on their cocks - that should be enough. The thing is, though, I'd convinced myself "The Weirdness" was going to be a total return to form. The collaborative tracks on Iggy's last album, "Skull Ring" - especially "Electric Chair" - were really promising, and a song on a Junior Kimbrough tribute ("You Better Run") was genuinely excellent.

Most baffling is that while priapic, fearless Iggy sings incessantly about his penis, he sounds exhausted; curiously weedy, even, as he staggers around, croaking his way around the vicinity of notes, buried deep in the mix. Who'd have thought, especially after their fine gigs in the last couple of years, that the Stooges' singer would prove to be the weak link?


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